Friday, May 05, 2006

Hitomi and Japanese Tea Ceremony

Two years ago, May, my friend Hitomi, gave a demonstration of Japanese Tea Ceremony at a garden club tea that my mother held at her home and garden. In this presentation she showed how to prepare 'matcha', a Japanese green tea. She explained the Japanese Tea Ceremony and told us of the symbolism of the bowl, cup, and flowers she used in this demonstration. She also showed my mother great respect by telling of their friendship and offering her the first drink from a communal cup (which she washed between tastings because she knew our American ways would make us more comfortable with that). Hitomi chose a blue iris for her floral arrangement and told us that she selected it because it represented 'strong boys'; just as an iris grows up out of marshy areas and reaches tall for the sunshine, so does a young man grow, to be strong of character and strength when provided with good parental leadership.

The blue iris are growing in my garden and blooming this month proficiently. They remind me of mom's tea and of Hitomi's presentation. Remembering those things, I prepared my afternoon tea recently, to be taken at a quiet place in my own garden. Blue iris and thoughts of my own two 'early adult' sons set the stage for my quiet tea for one. I used a favorite tea set that was given to me by my friend, Renee. She purchased it from an artisan in Japan on one of her recent trips to study Suzuki Piano Basics. In Japan tea sets do not come in sets of "two or four", but instead come in odd numbers of one or three. This little set is one of my treasures and has Japanese markings on the base from the maker of the tea set.

Wishing you gracious days during this beautiful month of May!

Photos to be posted soon! Stay tuned!

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